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Welcome to Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid

Therapy and sanity for ordinary parents of special kids.

Tag Archives | parenting

Go Directly to Jail. Do Not Pass Go. Do Not Collect $200. And Do Not Roll Your Eyes!

The other day, a wonderful mother on the imperfect Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid Facebook fan page (!/pages/Shut-Up-About-Your-Perfect-Kid/340015517888?ref=ts) posted a link about how the town of Elmhurst, Illinois, is seeking to make eye rolling illegal. [For those unfamiliar with this gesture, go ask a teenager to clean their room or request to hang with her (or him) and their friends at the mall.]

According to The Consumerist, this unusual request “stems from a recent city council meeting where an Elmhurst resident was ejected from the room after rolling her eyes in reaction to something that was said by a council member.” As a result, “Members of the Elmhurst city council have asked the City Attorney to look into the creation of a new ‘disturbance and disorderly conduct'”charge.

While we are both strong proponents of a kinder, gentler society (despite what our “Shut Up” book title may imply), we have several concerns. First, we are worried that this legislation might take flight and land here in Massachusetts. Gina is particularly concerned since one of her family members would serve significant time for this infraction — her husband. This is one of his favorite gestures, especially when he’s mowing the lawn with his iPod on and Gina needs to communicate some vital piece of information to him. For example:

“Mike, can you follow me to the gas station? I think I’m running out of gas.”

He rolls his eyes so often that Gina is concerned about the medical implications. “Didn’t your mother ever tell you that your eyes will get stuck that way? Don’t come crying to me when your cross-eyed.”

He also rolls just as often with his daughters, who rely on him for protection. “Daddy help! There’s a sugar ant in my room. I’m scared. Can you go get it?”

There’s little doubt that if this eye rolling legislation were to come to Massachusetts, Mike would probably be locked up for life, which concerns Gina on a whole other level.

“That’s not fair! How come you get to get locked up in prison while I have to stay here with the kids?”

Patty shares Gina’s disdain for the proposed law as well. For different reasons.

“Gene, this is ridiculous. We’re becoming entirely too politically correct. Next thing you know, we won’t be allowed to give the Loser signal or stick our tongues out at people. What’s this world coming to?”

And it’s also made her very cautious about electing government officials.

“Yes, Governor Patrick. Thank you for sharing your view on illegal immigration. But what I really want to know is: What’s your stance on eye rolling?”

Tell us what you think of the legislation.

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Ready or Not, Here I Go

by Imperfect Patty

Summer vacation is in full swing. Many parents (i.e., those on medication) enjoy this valuable opportunity to spend quality time with their children, get assistance around the house, and sleep in.  Sadly, though, these benefits come at a very high cost; the cost of losing something that is essential to our very survival – our privacy. Yup for eight grueling weeks, we have to conduct our daily activities knowing our children are among us (sound bite: “They’re baaaaaaack!”).

Now, at the table where we used to quietly sip coffee and peruse the morning paper, we have to block out the snap, crackle, pop of our children gnawing on cereal.  At the desks where we used to quietly crank out our work and freely complain about our children on Facebook, we have them lurking over our shoulders, censoring our posts. “Don’t write that! You’re so embarrassing.”

Fortunately, we have uncovered a few proven, cost-effective, and simple ways to take back the privacy we so deserve. And because we’ve become so attached to all of the folks in our imperfect community, we’ve decided to share them with you and proudly present… (drumroll please)

The Ten Best Places to Hide (from your Children)

1)    The walk-in closet. A walk-in closet is not just ideal for pretending your house is clean for company (by throwing everything in it). It’s also a great way to hide from your children. We especially like the ones with shelves that allow you to store essential items – pens, paper, trail mix, a box of wine, etc. If you don’t have a walk-in closet, consider moving to a house that has one or marrying someone who can build you one. If your current spouse has that capability, renew your vows with him.

2)    A walk-in freezer. Sure it’s great to have extra storage for slabs of meat, but you may be surprised to learn that a walk-in freezer is actually a nice respite for parents. Just be sure to make sure you don’t lock yourself in (Brady Bunch fans know how scary that can be).

3)   The Shrubs. Those overgrown shrubs you’ve been concerned about trimming are an actual asset to your home. In fact, some shrubs (like a healthy rhodendrum, for example), can comfortably accommodate up to two full-size parents.

4)    A tree house. Who says tree houses are just for Keebler elves? Consider taking over your children’s tree house and asking other neighbors to join you for your own hide-from-the-kids club?

5)    Pools. If you have a pool, consider taking scuba diving lessons and spending quality time underwater. Be sure to buy an extra large oxygen tank.

6)    The kitchen table. Most kitchen tables provide ample room for you to hide. Avoid purchasing glass tables at all costs. You’ll have a lot more to worry about than just fingermarks.

7)    Your neighbor’s house. It is critical that you select a neighbor who is safe. By safe we mean, he or she:  1) doesn’t have children or plan to have any in the future; 2) will not pass judgment on you or what you may bring over with you; and 3) has no problem openly lying to helpless children (or husbands).

8)    Your car. Today’s automobiles are constructed with space efficiency in mind, which should provide you with plenty of room to conceal yourself. If your car is in the garage, make sure it is not on. This is particularly important if you own a Toyota.

9)    The oven. And you thought that double oven was for cooking. Surprise. It’s for you!

10)  Fireplace. Santa didn’t choose the fireplace just for convenience. No, he wanted to avoid seeing children. A fireplace is an ideal place to hide, provided of course, that the fire is not lit.

We also advise to avoid wearing heavy perfumes for the summer. While that Jean Nate or Old Spice may make you feel fresh; it actually emits a strong detection signal to your children.

These are just a few tips that have been successful for us.  Remember though, every house is unique and offers its own little charm (or hiding place).  For example, that Lazy Susan can actually fit a Susan. And that hideaway bed isn’t just for sleepovers.

Just be sure to enjoy your time away.  Remember that parenthood is a life sentence and that every  parent deserves a (prison) break for good behavior.

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